The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 12. Garden Composition

Foreground and background composition

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Somewhat conflicting instructions are laid down as to the portion of a landscape garden which should first be worked upon, some writers holding that the foreground takes precedence, and others contending that the background should receive primary attention. All agree, however, that the mid-distance is of less importance, and may be finished last. The best method is probably that recommended by one authority of roughing out almost simultaneously, and elaborating alternately, step by step, both the foreground and the distance; for though it is generally considered that the background ranks first in importance, its true value is best secured by accommodating it to the scale and character of the nearer portions of the garden.